All Blacks rugby shirt sets new auction record

A New Zealand All Blacks rugby shirt has auctioned for £180,000 ($276,440).

The 100-year-old garment smashed its £40,000 ($60,766) estimate at Rogers Jones & Co in Wales on September 9.

All Black Gallaher
The shirt ended up with a Welsh laundry worker

Kiwi captain Dave Gallaher wore the shirt against Wales during the side's famous "Originals" tour in 1905.

Gallaher swapped the shirt with Wales' Gwyn Nicholls, who gave it to an employee of his laundry firm. It had remained in the family ever since.

It is a new record for a rugby shirt, beating the £22,000 ($33,428) achieved earlier this year by an Originals All Blacks shirt worn by an unknown player against Swansea.

The higher price for Friday's jersey is testament to its link to the side's captain and international test match.

The 3-0 loss to Wales was the side's only defeat during 35 fixtures across Europe and North America. The match was controversial, with the referee ruling out a try to All Blacks winger Bob Deans.

The tour was the first time the All Blacks had toured outside their own continent.

Nigel Wray, the chairman of English rugby side Saracens, is thought to have been the winning bidder.

Auctioneer David Rogers Jones told the BBC: "We're totally astonished.

"We were hoping to break the previous world record for a rugby shirt of £22,000 and have certainly done that."

There are thought to be only nine Originals jersey extant.

Rugby has historically been one of the more affordable areas of sports memorabilia.

A ball used in the 1991 World Cup final between England and Australia sold for £2,115, while England captain Martin Johnson's 2003 World Cup final boots achieved £4,680.

We have a superb selection of sports memorabilia for sale.

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